Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2017 - 34th Anniversary.  Our 35th Year in Ministry.
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UPDATED February 5, 2017 by Pastor Benedict

 

The Statement Of Faith (Short Form) was adopted on May 12, 1996 by the Ray Of Hope Council in representation of the Congregation and the Pastors.  This page was updated November 5, 2016 to include the addition of our statement on the Doctrine of Universal Salvation, adopted into the By-Laws in September, 2011.  That statement is at the end of this page.

All persons of any belief system, and those with no faith or belief of any kind, are welcome at all of the activities of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  By this we mean we promise to embrace and include you, not just tolerate your presence. 

 

Persons who attend Ray Of Hope are "free thinkers" who bring a wide spectrum of experience and exploration when it comes to matters of "faith."  Freedom of thought, freedom of inquiry, freedom to question, wonder, and to grow are treasured at Ray Of Hope Church.

Each person is responsible for what they choose to believe, and their own eternal journey.

 

I, Pastor Benedict, describe the gift God has given us as Open Christianity.  It is my opinion that Open Christianity is God’s personal, intimate, and eternal gift to humanity.  When I use the title Open Christianity it is an indication that we acknowledge what God has given us in the Church of the Only Begotten Son, the Eternal Word Incarnate, is so huge in its spectrum and scope of variation and inclusion that we will never be able to explore, never fully understand, or need everything included in this gift.  There is no way to find all of the outer parameters and outer borders of Open Christianity because of its expression of the love of God, the revelation of God’s self through Christ and in the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit, in my opinion.  Therefore, we are not consumed with limits on what we cannot do because this or that is not consistent with the boundaries drawn by denominational records.  Instead we are amazed, awakened, and newly aware of the possibilities and the potential we have in what we call Open Christianity to whatever the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches today.  We are assured in the Book of Revelation Chapter 2, verses 7, 11, 17, 29, and Chapter 3, verses 6, 13, and 22 that the Holy Spirit would be continuing to speak to us throughout the dispensation of the Church from its beginning until Christ comes to rule on the Earth.  So, each person is invited while participating in the life of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ to explore through any and every avenue what the movement of the Holy Spirit is saying to them and guiding them to.

 

The Pastoral Ministry of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. teaches salvation is the purview of God alone, and God has accomplished salvation and redemption for all creation as a reality and self-revelation of God.  All persons and all of creation will see the New Heavens and the New Earth.  (see John 5:24) (Exodus 33:18 and Romans 9:14-18) (Isaiah 25:6-8) (Revelation 21:1-6; Revelation 22:1-5) (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)

 

Further, the Pastoral and Teaching Ministries of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. adhere in unity to these Articles Of Faith and base all Doctrines, Dogmas, Teachings and Practices of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ on these Articles Of Faith.

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+ We believe in One God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

 

+ We believe in one Lord, our Sovereign, Jesus the only Christ, the only Son of God, Anointed Messiah, Eternal High Priest, Savior of the world, eternally begotten of God, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with God, and through Jesus all things were made.

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+ We believe God loved the world so much that God gave Jesus, God's own Son, to save humanity from sin, and to reconcile the world to God,

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so that whoever believes in Jesus has eternal salvation, eternal safety, and is a member of the eternal community of God.

 

+ Therefore, it was for us and our salvation he came down from heaven, was conceived by the Holy Spirit

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and was born of the Virgin Mary and became truly human, like us in all ways except He never sinned.

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In this way the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us. For our sake, in our place, as a sacrifice for our sin of the world, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

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suffered death as the Lamb of God, and was buried. On the third day he rose again eternally conquering death and reigning forever as the Resurrection and the Life in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven,

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and is positioned at the right hand of God.  He will come again in glory

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and to judge the living and the dead, and his Sovereign Realm, His Eternal Community, his kingdom will have no end.

 

+ We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from God and the Son, who with God and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets, and who empowers and gives life to the Church.

 

+ We believe in one holy universal/catholic Christian and apostolic Church.

 

+ We acknowledge one baptism into Christ,

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for the sign of repentance, faith in Christ, and forgiveness of sins.

 

+ We look for the resurrection of the Church, the saints in Christ, and the life of the eternal world to come under God's reign, where there will be liberty, justice and equity for all with God, in Christ, and through the Holy Spirit.

 

Additionally:

 

+ We the Faith Community of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, believe Christianity is the revelation of God in Christ Jesus, and the religion of God in Christ set forth in the Scriptures.

 

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Christ Jesus is foretold in the Hebrew Testament (formerly known as the "Old Testament") and, presented in the Christian Testament (formerly known as the "New Testament"). Christ Jesus is proclaimed by the Christian Church in every age and every land.

 

+ The foundation of Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ. We are not creating a new Church, or a new religion. The foundation is laid by God, and we take our place as spiritual stones being built into the Church triumphant.

 

+ We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired written Word Of God.

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The Bible is the final authority for believers in all matters of faith and Doctrines.  All teachings and practices must be in harmony with the Word Of God.

 

+ We believe that all people, with the exception of Jesus the Son of God, have sinned and are therefore in need of the new birth in Christ Jesus before they can enter the Eternal Community of Jesus.

 

+ We believe that Salvation is available to all who call on the Name of Jesus Christ, and are re-born into the Life of Christ.

 

+ We believe the Church is made of all people from every time and every place who believe in Christ Jesus. Believers constitute the priesthood of Jesus, the holy nation, the royal generation.

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+ In Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ we believe in remaining faithful to the Apostle's teaching, the Community of believers, the breaking of the bread, and prayers.

 

+ We believe the local Church is called to evangelize the local people by social action and ministry.

 

+ Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is Christ-centered in all of its teachings, and therefore does not ascribe to the dogmas, teachings, or practices of any denomination, or para-church organization of the Christian Church. Rather, we maintain an autonomous freedom to draw from the two millennia of immense riches known in all denominations of Christianity. Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ is an "independent" local Church. This does not mean we stand alone, as though on pride or arrogance, rather we seek to share an interdependence with other assemblies and fellowships of believers who endeavor equally as hard as we do to bring the Gospel to all people.

 

Statement on the Doctrine of Universal Salvation.

“We believe that Salvation is a gift that God has given to the entire human race.  Romans Chapter Five explains this Doctrine of Universal Salvation.  One’s personal salvation is assured by believing in God as per John 5:24.  Salvation is best known through the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, and through rebirth by the Holy Spirit.” (Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc By-Laws September, 2011  Lines 1141 – 1148)

 

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SCRIPTURE VERSES TO SHARE WITH OTHERS WHEN SHARING FAITH TOGETHER.

Romans 15:14  Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Titus 2:11  The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.

 

John 5:24  Those who hear my word and believe in God who sent me, have eternal life, will never come under judgment and have passed from death to life already.

 

Romans 10:13 “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (repeated at Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21 the Day of Pentecost).  All people from any human estate or situation in life are included in these words “whoever, anyone who” asks.  The word Lord here refers to God principally, so those who call on God shall be saved.

 

Isaiah 25:6-8 “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.  And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.  He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”

 

*** CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE BY-LAWS ARTICLE 10. ***

 

Page updated
8/20/17
God knows all of God's works from the beginning to all time. (Acts 15:17b-18)
From the beginning I revealed the end. From long ago I told you things that had not yet happened, saying, "My plan will stand, and I'll do everything I intended to do." (Isaiah 46:10 God's Word Trans.)